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This is the National Festival of Dressage and Folklore or the National Festival of Dressage and Folklore of Jesus Maria or National and International Festival of Dressage and Folklore of Jesus Mary. All those names to show only one thing: an event that runs in our veins and fills our hearts. It is the quintessential meeting of Argentineans who love the countryside. A tradition that seeks to enhance and spread folk music and rider music, calling on performers and riders who perform gaucha skills on horseback. It is the most important meeting in Argentina on this subject.
In 2017, the Argentine State awarded it the name Marca País, meaning that the festival is synonymous with República Argentina worldwide, a rating equivalent to that of Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC). Officially, it became a symbol of our nation with everything that entails. Because it enhances our traditions and exhibits what is the true Argentine Self .
This festival takes place in the city of Jesús Maria, a town located 50 km north of Córdoba Capital. And it is organized in an amphitheater called José Hernández, in honor of the traditional and renowned writer of the masterpiece Martín Fierro. All very gauchesque around here...
The amphitheater is oval shaped and has a stage where soloists and folklore groups perform. It also has a rider field that has corrals of enclosure and more three palenques. This property performs tasks and skills usual gauchas in the Argentine countryside . The whole complex is surrounded by stands in which the audience is located and thirsty for dressage.
Since 1966 the festival has been uninterrupted. Always during the first half of January, and throughout ten consecutive nights of dance and party. This event combines the skill of the riderline, the exhibition of gaucha skills , folk music, typical dances and the tasting of regional dishes. Around this event there are countless activities on the streets of the city that you can participate free of charge: fair of typical clothing and utensils, Creole meals, clubs, performance of folklore groups, etc. It is a multitudinous festival to which, in the year 2007, more than 400,000 people attended, among those attending the amphitheater and those who visit the peñas or the handicrafts fair .
In May 1965, the Cooperative of the School No. 1 Lieutenant Morandini de Jesús María, had the imperative need to raise funds to meet the care of children. Thus, he holds a meeting on May 19. In the middle of debate, Juan Manuel Corrales comes up with the glorious idea of holding a festival of transcendence , but after thinking hours and hours about what to celebrate there was a definition. Enrique Jarbas Pereyra proposed to hold a dressage and folklore festival, and his project was unanimously approved.
Initially, only 10 Cooperators joined, then others joined, thus forming a group of 20 schools called the Union of School Cooperators. By little, the organization was consolidating and more and more cooperators joined the proposal.
The collective work managed to carry forward, the 1st Dressage and Folklore Festival in January 1966, obtaining a resounding success: an assistant audience of 45,000 people. The artistic grid consisted of Los Cantores de Quilla Huasi, Alberto Merlo, Los de Córdoba, Los del Suquía, Hector Roca, Jorge Cafrune, El Chango Nieto and Abel Figueroa among others.
Over the years, these dreams were turning the Festival into the largest show in America in its genre, attracting in each edition more than 300,000 spectators who live this popular holiday . In addition to countless viewers and listeners who follow him from their homes across the country and the world.
This festival organized, fed and awaited by thousands of Argentines and foreigners who live the ritual like no other experience was held uninterruptedly since its inception. However, this year of such uncertainty, the Board of Directors of the Dressage and Folklore Festival of Jesus Maria, which has been organizing it for 55 years, announced the suspension of the 2021 edition . The motive? the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, nothing stats us: the commission is already find organizing the 2022 edition, so as not to leave us hopeless, without dressage or folklore.
The next will be and we look forward to it, reviewing a bit of the history of this Gaucha and Argentine tradition.
Publication Date: 04/02/2021
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